5. Time (Kāla) | Śrī Vaishnavism


5. Time (Kāla)

Now, the species of the Non-Conscious (Acit), viz., Time, will be treated.

Time is (an) inert (substance) devoid of the triad of Guṇas.

It is eternal and infinite. It is triply divisible as Past, Future and Present.

It is the time (element) indicated by such terms as Simultaneous, Immediate, Gradual etc.; and is that which constitutes what is in vogue (as time-measures), viz.,

Nimeṣa, Kāṣṭhā, Tatparā, Vināḍī, Kalā, Ghatikā, Muhūrta, Day, Half-month, Month, Season, Solstice, Year etc.

Muhūrta = 48 minutes
Ghatikā = 24 minutes
Kalā = ‘part’, varies 8-60 seconds
Kāṣṭhā = 1/ 30 part of Kalā = say 2 seconds;
Nimeṣa = Twinkling of an Eye;
Vināḍī = 24 seconds
Tatparā = used in Jyotiṣa, Vedic Astrology for 1/ 30 part of Nimeṣa

One month by human measure is a day for the Pitris, whose midday is the New-Moon day

The period of a Manu covers 71 (Amāvasyā).

One year by human measure is a day for the Devas, whose (half) day is the North-(summer) solstice, and night the South- (winter) solstice.

Measured thus by the Devas’ standard, 12’ 000 years is called the Four Yugas.

4 thousands of these constitute Kṛita-Yuga, when Virtue (Dharma) is of its full measure.
3 thousand of them with three parts of Virtue constitutes the Trētā Yuga.
2 thousand with two parts of Virtue constitutes the Dvāpara.
1 thousand with one part of Virtue is the Kali Yuga.

2 thousand make up the interim periods (between the Yugas):

800 years between Kṛita and Trētā
600 years between Trētā and Dvāpara.
400 years between Dvāpara and Kali.
200 years between Kali and Kṛta next.

The period which makes a 1 day of Brahma is a thousand of these Four-Yugas; and a night (is) of equal duration. A day of Brahma covers (the period of) 14 Manus, likewise of the Indras and the Seven Ṛṣis.

Thus, measured by the standard of Brahma, one hundred years is his life-length.

All this is subject to Time.

Likewise is subject to Time the various Dissolutions (Pralayas):

Nitya (frequent), Naimittika (occasional), Prākṛta (material), etc.

For time as Effect, Time itself is the Cause.

Infinite time is eternal; finite times are non-eternal.

Time so delineated constitutes an ingredient for God’s (cosmic) Sport (i.e. Display). In the Līlā Vibhūti, God (Īśvara) works, subject to Time.

Although Time exists in the Nitya- Vibhūti, it is so by His will.

Some say that time non-exists, others state that Tamasā-Mahan (a category of Matter) is time. But both, these positions are contrary to Word (Āgama, i.e. Scriptures) and Perception (Pratyakṣa).

The Ācāryas affirm that Time is cognition by the Six Senses (i.e. Mind and the Five Senses of Knowledge); that it is an object of Inference is therefore rejected.

Thus has Time bear treated.

Thus ends Chapter 5,
The Treatment of Time (Kola) in the
“Light of the School of Rāmānuja”.